Ally

Someone who stands up for and supports members of a social group that is discriminated against, other than their own. People that reach across differences to achieve inclusion for everyone.
COPA`s Glossary for Equity and Inclusion: Key Terms for Self-Advocacy, Understanding Our Connection with Others, and Being Allies

Bullying

A form of persistent and aggressive behaviour directed at an individual or individuals that is intended to cause (or should be known to cause) fear and distress and/or harm to another person’s body, feelings, self-esteem, or reputation. Bullying occurs when there is a real or perceived power imbalance. Repetition of bullying incidents may worsen the power imbalance and the negative impact.
COPA`s Glossary for Equity and Inclusion: Key Terms for Self-Advocacy, Understanding Our Connection with Others, and Being Allies

Cyber bullying

Bullying that occurs through the use of information and communication technologies (e.g., spreading rumours or hurtful images or comments by email, text messaging, on social media sites or personal websites).
COPA`s Glossary for Equity and Inclusion: Key Terms for Self-Advocacy, Understanding Our Connection with Others, and Being Allies

Discrimination

Unfair or prejudiced treatment of individuals or groups on the basis of race, ancestry, place of origin, colour, ethnic origin, citizenship, creed, sex, sexual orientation, age, marital status, family status, disability, or gender identity, as stipulated in the Ontario Human Rights Code, or on the basis of other similar factors, such as language, body size/shape, or socio-economic status. Discrimination prevents or limits access to opportunities, benefits, or advantages that are available to other people. Discrimination may be evident in organizational and institutional structures and programs as well as in the attitudes and behaviours of individuals.
COPA`s Glossary for Equity and Inclusion: Key Terms for Self-Advocacy, Understanding Our Connection with Others, and Being Allies

Equity

A condition or state of fair, inclusive, and respectful treatment of all people. Equity does not mean treating everyone the same but means recognizing and including others based on their individual differences. Equity measures seek to ensure all people have access to opportunities and experiences by addressing the individual, systemic and institutional barriers and challenges that prevent equal outcomes.
COPA`s Glossary for Equity and Inclusion: Key Terms for Self-Advocacy, Understanding Our Connection with Others, and Being Allies

Gender-based Violence

Any form of harmful behaviour - including psychological, verbal, physical and sexual behaviour – that is based on gender identity and is intended to control, humiliate, subordinate or harm an individual or group. This form of violence is generally directed at those whose gender identity does not conform to their biological sex. It is based on homophobic, bi-phobic, lesbophobic, or transphobic attitudes and prejudice which can be either conscious or unconscious and which exist on an individual, systemic and institutional level. (See Sexist Violence as a distinct form of violence against girls and women.)
COPA`s Glossary for Equity and Inclusion: Key Terms for Self-Advocacy, Understanding Our Connection with Others, and Being Allies

Heterosexism

The presumption that everyone is, should be, or should wish to be heterosexual, and the belief that heterosexuality is inherently normal and/or superior to all other sexual orientations. These presumptions lead to prejudice, bias, exclusion or discrimination at the individual and systemic levels.
COPA`s Glossary for Equity and Inclusion: Key Terms for Self-Advocacy, Understanding Our Connection with Others, and Being Allies

Homophobia

A hostile attitude or a negative bias, which may be overt or unspoken and which may exist at an individual and/or a systemic level, towards people who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgendered, transsexual, two-spirited, intersexed, queer, and questioning (LGBTTQ).
Adapted Report by Ontario's Safe Schools Action Team,
Shaping a Culture of Respect in Our Schools: Promoting Safe and Health Relationships, 2008

Human Rights

Rights that recognize the dignity and worth of every person, and provide for equal rights and opportunities without discrimination, regardless of race, ancestry, place of origin, colour, ethnic origin, citizenship, creed, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, marital status, family status, or disability, as stipulated in the Ontario Human Rights Code, or other similar factors.

Inclusion

An approach that aims to reach out to and include all people, honouring the diversity, uniqueness, talents, beliefs, backgrounds, capabilities, needs and ways of living of individuals and groups. Inclusive practices aim to create a culture of fairness and belonging in which people are, and feel that they are an important part of all aspects of society.

Inappropriate Sexual Behaviour

Sexual behaviour that places the person engaging in the behaviour, or another individual, 'at risk' - either physically, psychologically or socially - and/or that is inappropriate relative to the person's age or stage of development.

Adapted from the University of Waterloo Language Guide

People of Colour

The term unites marginalized ethnocultural and ‘racial’ groups into a larger collective of solidarity. It draws attention to ways in which different people are racialized and therefore may be subjected to different treatment or experience social inequities on the basis of factors that may be visible, such as skin colour and ethnicity. The term “people of colour” is used to replace the term “visible minority” as the latter term implies inferiority.

Power

The term refers to one’s ability to influence or control, people, events, processes, or resources. Power is gained by individuals or social groups through privileges afforded to people and/or institutions (e.g. government, church, family, law enforcement etc.).

Prejudice

A belief that leads to pre-judging or an unjustified and usually negative attitude, often about a group of people and its individual members. Such negative attitudes are typically based on unsupported generalizations (or stereotypes) that deny people’s right to be recognized and treated as individuals with individual characteristics, and that may cause, support or justify discrimination.

Racism

A set of harmful assumptions, opinions, actions and policies – obvious or subtle - assuming the existence of "races" in the human species and a racial hierarchy. Racism serves to create or support this racial hierarchy by entrenching, reinforcing or justifying the power structure that maintains the status of the dominant group. Racism may exist in organizations and institutional structures and programs as well as in the attitudes and behaviours of individuals.
United Nations Association in Canada, Youth Forums Against Racism

Sexism

A set of harmful assumptions, opinions, actions and policies – obvious or subtle – that are directed against women and girls. Sexism assigns superior value and worth to men and maleness while demeaning and diminishing the value and worth of women and femaleness. It is manifested in personal attitudes, expressions, and behaviours of discrimination and/or forms of violence against girls and women on an individual, a systemic or an institutional level. This form of discrimination is always directed at girls and women.

Sexism is both distinct from and closely connected to gender based violence, which can also target men and boys. Sexism is connected in complex ways to homophobic, lesbophobic and transphobic beliefs and practices.
COPA`s Glossary for Equity and Inclusion: Key Terms for Self-Advocacy, Understanding Our Connection with Others, and Being Allies

Sexist violence

Any form of behaviour - including psychological, verbal, physical and sexual behaviour – that is based on sexist or misogynistic beliefs and is intended to control, humiliate, make inferior or harm girls and women, either as individuals or as a group. This form of violence is always directed at girls and women. It is based on attitudes and prejudice about girls, women and femaleness which may be either conscious or unconscious and which exist on an individual, a systemic and an institutional level.
COPA`s Glossary for Equity and Inclusion: Key Terms for Self-Advocacy, Understanding Our Connection with Others, and Being Allies

Sexual Harassment

Unwelcome sexual attention directed at an individual by someone whose conduct or comments are, or should reasonably be known to be, offensive, inappropriate, intimidating, hostile, and unwelcome. Sexual harassment often occurs in an environment in which sexist, homophobic or transphobic jokes and materials have been allowed.
Adapted Report by Ontario's Safe Schools Action Team,
Shaping a Culture of Respect in Our Schools: Promoting Safe and Health Relationships, 2008

Shadeism

A set of harmful assumptions, beliefs, practices and policies - overt or subtle – that are directed against people who have darker skin. Shadeism assigns superior value and worth to lighter-skinned people. It is rooted in learned fear and contempt; internalized racism may be a factor when it occurs within racialized communities. Shadeism is manifested in personal attitudes, expressions, and behaviours of defamation, avoidance, discrimination, and/or any form of violence or threats against people who have darker skin on an individual, a systemic or an institutional level. Also known as colorism.

COPA`s Glossary for Equity and Inclusion: Key Terms for Self-Advocacy, Understanding Our Connection with Others, and Being Allies

Social Justice

A concept based on a vision of society in which the distribution of resources is equitable and all members are physically and psychologically safe and secure. It is the belief that each individual and group within a given society has a right to equal opportunity, equal access, civil liberties, and full participation in the social, educational, economic, and institutional dimensions of society. Social justice involves people who have a sense of their own autonomy as well as a sense of social responsibility toward and with others and the society as a whole.

Stereotype

A false or generalized, and usually negative idea of a group of people that results in the unconscious or conscious categorization of each member of that group, without regard for individual differences.

Stereotyping may be based on a wide range of social factors, structures and groups, including: age, ethno-cultural origins, or skin colour; linguistic, religious, geographical, or national groups; social, economic, marital, or family status; physical, developmental or mental attributes; or sex, gender or sexual orientation.